The hottest team in the MLS is without Josh Wolff but Claudio Lopez is peaking at the right time. Lopez is vying for newcomer of the year with Darren Huckerby and Andre Rocha. He has scored six goals and assisted in seven more. They meet Columbus Crew and Guillermo Barros Schelotto in one of the marquee playoff matches.
Schelotto was singled out for praise by Diego Maradona, Argentina's new manager.
"Guille is a real footballer. He has the cunning so characteristic of Argentinian football. When everone else gets nervous, he remains unfazed."
KC will have to keep Schelotto quiet while pushing forward with Davy Arnaud and Claudio Lopez. Jack Jewsbury has been very effective in his new attacking role just behind Arnaud, having provided some valuable goals and even more valuable assists.
The defense led by captain Jimmy Conrad, nominee for Visa defender of the year has bottled up explosive attacks like LA and the Crew. Conrad also adds an attacking flair which has led to six goals, the most by a central defender since Lubos Kubik in 1998. Conrad will have to be prepared for some blistering counter-attacks from Robbie Rogers and Eddie Gaven. Kevin Hartmann will have to be sharp under the bar against Alejandro Moreno, who is deadly accurate.
KC have come away with two losses and drawn one while conceding 8 goals and scoring 4 of their own in the matches they have played with Crew this year. But that was the old KC before Kurt Onalfo made all those midfield changes with his squad and Claudio Lopez really heated up. This will be a great match and a win for KC is within the realm of possibilities.